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Alex Meseck

Student, UW Whitewater

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How can we lessen the disparity between the rich and the poor in America?

According to the Pew Research Center, the top 7 percent of all U.S. households own 63 percent of all the wealth in the country. On average, households in the top 7 percent have 24 times as much wealth as households in the bottom 93 percent.
Statistics like these show the massive disparity between the rich and poor in America. I feel the need to do something about this, but I'm not sure what i can do to make changes. Any ideas?

Update: Ive got three good stories to include in my letter thus far. Theres ten days left before this conversation gets closed. I'd like to get two or three more statements before i write up this letter to be sent to senators/congressman. I probably wont write the letter until I go on christmas break. Please, anyone who may be interested in receiving a copy of this letter to send to their own senators and congressman should send me an email. My email address is meseckaj20@uww.edu

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Closing Statement from Alex Meseck

As is clear to me after all this, making these changes in the distribution of wealth will not be easy. But being the optimist I am, I think we can make this change happen if we work together. I am in the process of writting the letter, anyone interested in recieving a copy should email me at meseckaj20@uww.edu and thanks for the variety of ideas.

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    Dec 12 2013: Eat the rich
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      Dec 12 2013: HAHAHAH!
    • Dec 15 2013: I was going to say barrel of a gun.... history shows if nothing else... it works.

      I'd always thought it would be an interesting exercise... publicly cap a few wall st bankers / ceo's, I bet you the rest would fall in line with the 'new democracy' real quick ;)

      And before you call the FBI - remember it's what the CIA has been doing all these years... www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeHzc1h8k7o
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    Nov 25 2013: i don't understand why is this not as easy as confiscating the wealth of the rich, and distributing it among the poor? i mean, that is the end you seek, isn't it? it does not matter if you change the rules or use some convoluted method. either you let people to accumulate wealth or you don't. so i suggest going the honest and simple way, and just take the money.
    • Dec 4 2013: I wish it were that simple Kris but the rich wont accept it and have the power to stop any such action
  • Nov 23 2013: Hi Alex,
    This is a subject that comes up on a regular basis with my husband, John and I. John works a 45 hour per week job, only to have his paycheck chopped up with taxes. We pay for our health benefits out of his paycheck and then pay for an interest only mortgage payment (so we'll never own our tiny one bedroom home), and then utilities, food and gas for our 14 year old vehicle. By then, we have very little, and live in fear that if we should have an emergency there are no funds available to cover it. If my husband or I get sick, we have huge co-pays and deductibles. We also have extensive medical bills as I have had a very long history of major illnesses. So, if you come up with an plan to do something about changing this, will you please explain how, because I will surely sign up for than plan. The workers pay for the takers and the rich. We are stuck in this position and will never get ahead or be able to prepare for our senior years as our income is 2,000 per year above the cut off level to qualify for any assistance whatsoever.

    It is very frustrating when we see such wasteful spending by the very wealthy. But that is the way it works in the USA, its all about money, and the rich get richer while the poor get left behind. It is just how this country works.

    At the same time, I am lucky, as we have clean clothes and food in the fridge. I have a brother who just purchased a 10 million dollar plus mansion, while our mother still has a car payment. So, my point here is, if you can't even have equity in the same family, it makes me wonder if you will ever see it in the country.

    I read somewhere that only 1% of people in the whole world have all four of the following: 1) A roof over their head 2) Clean clothes to wear 3) Food in their fridge and 4) Some cash in their pockets. Yes, that was 1%. I find that to be incredibly sad.
    • Dec 8 2013: I made this statement in question a couple days ago but wanted to let people know the plan:
      Ive got three good stories to include in my letter thus far. Theres ten days left before this conversation gets closed. I'd like to get two or three more statements before i write up this letter to be sent to senators/congressman. I probably wont write the letter until I go on christmas break. Please, anyone who may be interested in receiving a copy of this letter to send to their own senators and congressman should send me an email. My email address is meseckaj20@uww.edu
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    Nov 18 2013: There is roughly three sorts of poor people.

    The First, are the majority of people who are following someone else, mindlessly, avoiding thinking on their own, they also cannot produce anything meaningful on their own, they are simply lost souls. They often suffer from crime, and are accident-prone, they are victims of all types of manipulations.

    The Second type is "revolutionary", those individuals who cannot fit any social system.

    The Third is the most fascinating kind. These are just rare individuals who are extremely talented in their unique way. They cannot be recognized by the society during their life, cannot fit anywhere, cannot imitate others in order to be as everyone else, they suffer painfully, often having no place on their own, no materials to realise their ideas, produce their projects, no support from practically anyone around. Commonly, if this Thrid type of a person gets recognized, usually after his death, his idea/work brings immence profits to those who use and mass produce his ideas. Among this rare type of people are independent inventors, philosophers, artists, musicians, scientists, poets and writers. These individuals have an important role in shaping up our human world.
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    Dec 16 2013: Mr Why,
    My apologies if you have found Africa so labored by the intrusion of foreign companies and do-gooders. And I have made contributions to charitable organizations that promoted doing good things there. My limited visit to the far northern part of the continent proved to me to be a prosperous place, of course it was a tourist area and the local peoples seemed to being doing well, But this is not about your continent, is is about mine. Mr. Meseck has a concern and a desire about changing the levels of wealth in America. He implies there should be more equilibrium. And in a way he is correct. People have done well here in America, but lately that has not continued. People who have wealth spend their time trying to maintain it, and they are fairly successful. Others who are looking to create wealth on their own merits are running into a buzzsaw of rules and regulations, forms to complete, licenses to obtain, lawyers to hire, congressmen to give election donations.
    If I had a plan for a better mousetrap, it is almost impossible to develop a business to build and sell my mousetrap here in America. American was built on a system of free market capitalism. Those days are gone. I would have to take my ideas to Hong Kong to build and sell my mousetraps, they still practice free market capitalism there.
    So Mr. Meseck is correct in that the lower... 93%... has little chance to create wealth for them selves.
    So, I think to change that situation, the letter to congress would say something like.... Give people a chance to become wealthy, grease the skids so they can open factories or stores, cut all the forms to one page, no legalese so no lawyers are needed, then maybe those 93% will stand a chance.
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    Dec 7 2013: In the words of Yogi Berra... "It's deju vue all over again"

    OK Alex, sorry to be wee wee in your Wheaties, you are not going to be able to do anything.

    There are two problems with this question as I see it...

    First, is there a disparity? The poor say there is a terrible disparity and the rich say not so much. They are top 7% trying to support the bottom 63% and it is getting harder and harder to do... the bottom 63% are so demanding.

    Second, if it was to be done, how could it be done. To 'take' something from someone could be considered immoral and illegal regardless of the altruism that could be generated. In fact, if you were to do it on your own, I am sure that you could be in serious trouble.

    However, you are looking for answers, not denials... So,
    It is so simple, it is taught in the second six week period of PoliSci 101.
    It's the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. Congress can tax income of individuals and by extension to corporations. There are no limits. And the genius of the 16th, there is no direction on how the money collected has to be distributed. So, congress raises the income tax on those top 7% and redistributes the monies to the bottom 63%...

    And you don't have to do much of anything. Support your local congressman to make this a congressional resolution.

    Of course, we can only do this once....
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        Dec 7 2013: I guess I can show how the 7% supports the 63%. Mostly through the means of a progressive tax system that allows a great portion of the 63% to pay no taxes at all while getting a myriad of government support programs....
        But who said that the poor didn't have all the opportunities the wealthy had.... If you look at the bio's of a large number of those 7%ters... they started out poor !
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        Dec 9 2013: OK, you can make the claim that corporations lobby for tax benefits and get them. I have always said that to lobby government should be prosecuted as bribery... and the tax laws have gone from sublime to ridicule.... another problem.
        And it is not so true that entrepreneurs made their money on wall street... maybe a few. Most made it in the market place. Ray Kroc started selling 15 cent hamburgers and today we have McDonald's for example. After the 7%ers made their money, then they got into the stock market. Consider also, the biggest players in the market are not those 7%ers... They are big pension funds by unions, and government agencies.... people from the upper end of the 63% who have jobs and are working... These people do pay taxes and as a group get hit the hardest.... they pay those pesky sales taxes, gas taxes and income taxes.
        But, in the end, the 7% dole out way more money then the 63%.
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        Dec 11 2013: Jason,
        Can't deny some of you premises... there are bad people who do bad things. That is life.
        But not all wealthy people are bad and out to make your life miserable.
        But ask yourself this one question when you badmouth all those wealthy people... Will a poor person ever give you a great job with a good salary...?
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        Dec 12 2013: Jason,
        My brainwashing is more then overwhelmed by your lack of understanding. I stated that there are good and bad people out there in the world. Corporations are nothing but a large group of people coming together to form an organization to provide goods and services. Some goods and services require huge investments of capital hence the large group of people. But, the terms Corporation, Partnership, LLC, LLP, etc are all terms used by the IRS to address tax returns and legal issues.
        Yes, Small businesses hire more people and No, Corporate industries use many small business to provide them sub assemblies and materials and services.
        The is no such thing as an even playing field in business. The is a term used by some to restrict enterprise. The correct term could be that all businesses follow the same rules.
        So, first thing tomorrow, sign up for Business Management 101 at your local college.
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        Dec 12 2013: I don't know what kind of business you're in, but your comments have not shown a great grasp of business. And corporate law is not much more then that... it is just written in legalese.

        I do agree that the US tax code is up the with ACA and a number of other monumental Federal gaffes in law and legislation.

        Our recession was caused by certain congressmen swayed by lobbyist and an appearance of being for the poor and downtrodden as to acquire block votes changed the criteria that the Federal Mortgage guaranteers must have proper loans thus allowing Countrywide Mortgage to submit bad loans to banks who bundled them with good loans and sold these bundles on the world wide market. I can get into more detail, but... the last recession was a political connivence that went terribly wrong.
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      Dec 7 2013: The genius of the 16th amendment is that they can get me to pay for wars and maintaining 25% of the world's prison population.
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        Dec 7 2013: Isn't it wonderful...

        Say what you will about the greatness of President Lincoln, but he did create the political shift in the USA to gut the Constitution.
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    • Dec 8 2013: I made this statement in question a couple days ago but wanted to let people know the plan:
      Ive got three good stories to include in my letter thus far. Theres ten days left before this conversation gets closed. I'd like to get two or three more statements before i write up this letter to be sent to senators/congressman. I probably wont write the letter until I go on christmas break. Please, anyone who may be interested in receiving a copy of this letter to send to their own senators and congressman should send me an email. My email address is meseckaj20@uww.edu
    • Dec 11 2013: Earlier in this thread i disscused writtng a letter that people could semd that would contain statements i get from this website. If it is okay i would like to use your above posting. The letter would include your first name and the state in which you live. If this is okay please let me know what state you live in.
  • Dec 7 2013: Ive got three good stories to include in my letter thus far. Theres ten days left before this conversation gets closed. I'd like to get two or three more statements before i write up this letter to be sent to senators/congressman. I probably wont write the letter until I go on christmas break. Please, anyone who may be interested in receiving a copy of this letter to send to their own senators and congressman should send me an email. My email address is meseckaj20@uww.edu
  • Dec 6 2013: Why do we obsess upon "disparity"? What is "poor"? If the poorest people in the USA make 1/1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 what the richest do, but these "poorest" have incomes that give them all 4-bedroom/2-bathroom houses, two new cars a year, plenty of high-quality food, utilities paid, theater/sports tickets, electronics, toys, etc. Would you really CARE about "disparity"?

    The problem is NOT disparity. The problem is how low the low end is. Rephrase the issue that way. Whining on about "disparity" is self-limiting. It sets people up to be murderous, to look at each other as enemies who must exterminate each other in order to divide up an ever-dwindling pie.

    Reject Capitalist-Marxist thinking (they're really the same thing, deep down--all based on complex and competition). Think of the problem as "How do we bring up the bottom", not "how do we squash the top and the bottom together". If the *real* incomes of the poor quadruples, who CARES if the real incomes of the rich octuples? Note I wrote *real* income, not nominal income.

    That's probably too radical and creative an idea, though. Most people prefer to wallow in the capitalo-marxist sty of class warfare, either taking the side of the rich against the poor or the poor against the rich.
    • Dec 6 2013: Just because i use the word disparity does not mean im more interested in the rich than the poor. If i admit i could have written my opening question better will you tell us a radical, creative way to fix the problem of "bringing up the bottom"
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      Dec 7 2013: I often wonder if bringing the top down would ever bring the bottom up in any way. People are poor for a complex of reasons, not simply because other people are rich.
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    Dec 6 2013: Sadly I think that your numbers may even be a bit underestimated...

    You could (and should) start taxing them more.

    Edit: and by them I mean the really rich.
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      Dec 7 2013: Jimmy

      Still clinging to those myths I see...

      The reality is that there is less disparity than the propaganda would have you believe. Admittedly there is more inequality than usual but that is purely because of government intervention.

      Even your Sweden enjoys it's standard of living because of it's former free market.


      edited equality to inequality
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        Dec 7 2013: Nope, It just takes too much time (like infinity) for me to explain to you why Sweden has it's high (but rapidly sinking) standards. And our standards have gone down ever since the ones with your way of thinking came to rule here...

        I highly doubt it but perhaps this TED Talk will teach you something...
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI
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          Dec 7 2013: if sweden is ruled by free market believers, i'm going there! alas, it is a purely imaginary scenario. nothing of the sort is going on there.
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          Dec 7 2013: That talk was such blather that even TED took it down.

          It starts off with the chicken or egg question and he says that the consumer comes first. If that is true than what do they buy if it isn't produced yet?

          He then produces some graphs that "prove" his point, which they don't.

          The statics themselves don't show public transfers or tax deductions that the middle class get for retirement or healthcare. Also they do not reflect the fact that there was tax law change in the 80s that encouraged the rich to report their taxes as individual instead of as a corporation which makes it appear that the rich were getting richer but they weren't. Mr Hanauer fails to point these things out in his talk.

          His premise that middle class consumption creates jobs is wrong. In his "analysis" about the rich guy consumption, he fails to point out that they invest their savings. Investment is what creates jobs.

          Here is a talk by an Austrian who sets this subject straight see the Oct 15th show where Tom Woods interviews Per Bylund :

          http://www.schiffradio.com/pg/jsp/verticals/archive.jsp

          Here are some more articles about the Sweden myth:

          http://www.libertyclassroom.com/sweden/

          I know Jimmy will not look at any of this, even though I listened to his video. But anyone who is interested in this can learn the facts at these links.

          One other interesting point is that Sweden has stayed out of war longer that even Switzerland, which contributed a lot to their prosperity.
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          Dec 9 2013: See how Jimmy fades away?
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        Dec 7 2013: Krisztián

        "if sweden is ruled by free market believers, i'm going there! alas, it is a purely imaginary scenario. nothing of the sort is going on there."

        You completely lost me, please elaborate.
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        Dec 12 2013: I looked Pat, those opinions are really far away from how it actually is here. But you knew that I'd say that...

        We can kind of read each others minds by now...

        And yes, we got much of our prosperity from avoiding war, something that I really recommend for the USA since you could use some cash...
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          Dec 12 2013: You do realize that the Oct 15th show was with a Swed ?

          Those are articles based on statistical facts, so yes that is the way it is.

          Honest injun did you look at any of those links?
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          Dec 12 2013: I agree we spend way too much on being the world's police.
          Of course if we didn't some countries might get sodomized.
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        Dec 12 2013: Yes Pat, I DID read most of the info. That Swede (Per Bylund) also didn't know about the Swedish history. He's an entrepreneur making money on my taxes. And while the quality for the elders and kids have gone down he's actually making millions on that quality loss.

        How come Sweden is viewed as so socialist and you still claim that it's not.

        Provide those statistical facts with reliable sources and a proven correlation Pat and I will dispute them for you.

        Honest, I looked. I think while you're reading the "truth" I'm reading lies and/or misconceptions...

        And I think that fewer countries would get sodomized if you didn't play world police...
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          Dec 12 2013: Ok Jimmy thanks for reading it.

          "He's an entrepreneur making money on my taxes"

          How so? I don't see anything about that on the internet.

          "How come Sweden is viewed as so socialist and you still claim that it's not."

          As stated in the material:

          "The alleged recent success of the Swedish economy has allowed welfare statists both inside and outside of Sweden to argue that high taxes and an extensive welfare state are good for the economy. To fully understand this fallacy, we should review Sweden's economic history."

          "Until the second half of the 19th century, Sweden was fairly poor. But far-reaching free market reforms in the 1860s allowed Sweden to benefit from the spreading Industrial Revolution."

          "But between 1950 and 1976, Sweden experienced an expansion in government spending unprecedented during a period of peace, with government spending to GDP rising from about 20% in 1950 to more than 50% in 1975. Virtually every year, taxes were increased while the welfare state expanded relentlessly, both in the form of a sharp increase in the number of government employees and ever more transfer payment benefits.

          During the first 20 years, this relentless government expansion took place seemingly without ill effect, as Sweden benefited from rapid global growth — although Sweden's growth had already started to slip in relative terms, from well above average to just average. This changed in the 1970s after Olof Palme, from the left wing of the Social Democratic party became Prime Minister. Palme stepped up the socialist transformation in Sweden, rapidly increasing anti-business regulations and sharply increased payroll taxes."


          "Provide those statistical facts with reliable sources and a proven correlation Pat and I will dispute them for you."

          There you have it.

          "And I think that fewer countries would get sodomized if you didn't play world police... "

          You may be right on this, you have your socialist propaganda, we have our war propaganda. I'm changing my rhetori
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          Dec 12 2013: You are economically illiterate and don't realize it despite my attempts at learning you about this.

          But I'm changing my rhetoric on the war propaganda you are right. We are told we are bringing democracy to Iraq or Afghanistan this is absurd and a thinly veiled "reason" to subsidize the industrial war industry.

          The fact is that every war is created by provocation as with Germany and Japan by FDR in WWll the American Civil War by Lincoln, Viet Nam war by LBJ etc.

          So on second thought we need to scale way back on the war machine and the debt as do you.
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    Dec 6 2013: I think that for society to remain reasonably just, the answer lies partly in restricting "Caesar's income" to what rt really needs. Away with grandiosity,waste and the whole caboodle of unecessary spending. Let us do what is beneficial to people. We need transportation infrastructure to conduct business and we need protection from those whose mentality is impaired and habitual criminals. We need re-education of those who can be rehabilitated. We need a new justice system based on rehabilitation not punishment. Who am I or you to be punishing another?. Discipline is required and in some cases lifetime detention.. To fund all of these needs, we need a just tax system, uncomplicated. For everyone to pay a fair share of taxes we should have a flat tax...no exceptions, loopholes to hide behind, no subsidies. What is a fair share of taxes ? Good question. But it should be the same for the wealthy and the not so wealthy. Needs have to be met and a living wage is necessary for all.
    • Dec 6 2013: You raise some good issues here. I don't know how far down the thread you read, but i had suggested that i could write a letter compiling stories and writings like yours that ppeople on this thread could send to their senators and congress man. If it is okay with you i would like to include what youve written in this letter. All i would need from you is the state you live in. The letter would not include your last name, would just say -Helen from wherever. Please let me know.
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        Dec 7 2013: TEXAS
        • Dec 8 2013: I made this statement in question a couple days ago but wanted to let people know the plan:
          Ive got three good stories to include in my letter thus far. Theres ten days left before this conversation gets closed. I'd like to get two or three more statements before i write up this letter to be sent to senators/congressman. I probably wont write the letter until I go on christmas break. Please, anyone who may be interested in receiving a copy of this letter to send to their own senators and congressman should send me an email. My email address is meseckaj20@uww.edu
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    Dec 5 2013: Why is it always the people who can't manage money that want to manage other people's money? Is that what we want? People who can't manage money... managing other people money. Don't we already have that? Oh yea, they are called politicians! And by the way how is the politician thing working for you??
    • Dec 6 2013: But not all poor people are poor because they cannot manage money. Some people are just born into poverty. And despite working hard cant reach a mediocre living. If we can help these people, they can move up and meet a normal standard of living. If we help these people they will enter the workforce. Not all poor people are poor because they cant manage money.
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        Dec 6 2013: "But not all poor people are poor because they cannot manage money" Nothing could be further from the truth. Even people who are born into money, millions or billions the amount does not matter, will not and can not keep it, until they learn how to manage money. Have a good look at the lottery winners, people who have millions and if they do not learn to manage it are broke and friendless in a short time. A lot of people fall into money, inheritance, sports figures, rock stars, mineral rights, lotteries and then lose it all because they do not know how to manage money.
        The amount does not matter, if you can't manage your pennies, then you certainly won't be able to manage your dollars. And for some reason schools do not teach it either.
        The book I mentioned earlier is a wonderful teacher and I would bet dollars to doughnuts you did not listen to it, even when I gave it to you for free!
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    Dec 5 2013: I for one am at a loss on how to redistribute wealth in America. This country was based on individual freedoms with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as a foundation for the nation. You can tax those who have accumulated wealth at a cap, it would be legal under current law. But is it fair?
    Recently at my local watering hole, I engaged in a conversation where the discussion was "Why should Bill Gates have all that money and I don't." I took the Bill Gates side of the discussion.
    Why shouldn't he have all that wealth? He earned it, legally, I presume.

    I am not wealthy because..... I didn't write a couple of million lines of computer code for a great operating system. I didn't guess those 7 numbers for the mega-million lottery. I can go on but you get the idea.
    On a personnel level, I see wealth envy as destructive. It leaves people to do stupid things or get conned by the really bad people.

    If there is a concern about some disparity, the real question is, are the opportunities for gaining wealth available to all? Wealthy people seem to have had great educations... do our schools provide great education? Wealthy people have focused on that activity that will bring them wealth. They don't spend hours on Facebook or Xbox. Wealthy people seemed to have been successful on overcoming reams of forms to complete and regulations to follow... this is one area that escapes me. Today, many wealthy people have said that they could not have succeeded in today's regulatory environment.

    So, if the government suppresses people from being successful and the wealthy have escaped, it would follow that the disparity would grow.

    It would make sense that new government policies would encourage people to go and create wealth.
    Or we could have many poorer people so that the government could tax the wealthy and redistribute the wealth to the poor to lessen the disparity. So it would be like robbing Peter to pay Paul... But you can only do that once
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      Dec 5 2013: You may want to check out Bill Gates before you take his side. Bill Gates never made any money off his own code.... ever! However he is a very clever manger of other peoples code that he buys or steals and a shrewd business man. He got his first break when IBM was looking for a small operating system for their PC's. He was aware of some software that he knew would do the trick but he did not own it or write it. He sent a proposal and exclusive contract to IBM who bit hook, line and sinker. Bill then took the down payment and bought the software then hired a couple guys to modify it into DOS and the rest is history. Even after IBM found out they were locked into a air-tight contract and had to use his software on all their PC's. He milked that cow for years and made his first millions slowly buying up other software that would also run on DOS. Then along came Apple with fancy fonts, menus and windows. Bill saw the writing on the wall so he paid some spy's to work for Apple and feed the code back to him. In no time he had all the same bells and whistles on his "new" (stolen) software called Windows. Both Jobs and Gates were already rich, friends and occasionally hung out together so when Gates stole all of the Apple software, of course Jobs was livid. Which is probably why when Apple was going broke, Gates loaned Jobs $100 million dollars to keep it going. They were certainly the odd couple in a love-hate relationship. Jobs never wrote a lot of code either but his employees certainly did. He like Gates was a man who could drive other people to do extra ordinary things. To both of them NO was simply not acceptable.
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        Dec 5 2013: Just saying that Gates made his money legally as far as I know. He has done some good things in giving it away, whether he personally wrote the code or just saw that it got done...ok.
        The important thing is that he did it and made a fortune. I am saying that if Bill could anybody could.... except me maybe.
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          Dec 5 2013: There always two sides to a coin. On one side you have what a wonderful thing to give your money to charity and on the other side you have, it is all tax deductible so what is the bottom line? Well for one as usual the rich instead of paying their share of taxes simply donate "to their own charity". Why do they do that? Because all the expenses of travel and accommodations are also tax deductible in other words they get to travel the world in high fashion at the public's expense. The bottom line is only the middle class pay taxes, the poor don't pay taxes and the rich play charity games and hide their fortunes in the Bahamas.
          By the way I heard Bill and Warren were going to give most of their money to charity years ago and yet both still have their fortunes. Is that like politicians that say "I am Responsible" and yet they don't lose their job or money or ever go to jail, even though their mistakes cost lives and fortunes. Why don't they just tell it like it is "I am not responsible because I have diplomatic immunity"!
        • Dec 15 2013: Mike, if he'd made his money legally, why was he hauled up before the senate on illegal business practices?

          http://ethics.csc.ncsu.edu/commerce/anticompetitive/dominance/microsoft/study.php

          http://www.slashgear.com/us-senate-claims-microsoft-avoided-paying-6-5-billion-in-taxes-20248748/
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        Dec 6 2013: Keith,
        I can't speak for the intentions of Bill or Warren, all I think I know is that they have made large contributions to many charities and have helped many people.

        So, they give much money to charities in.... Africa. They go to Africa, first class, drinking... Dom Perinom... I am not sure you can take a tax deduction on a tax deduction but... for sake of this argument...
        Here is my point... what would the needy people of Africa had gotten if Bill and Warren had not gone in that luxury jet?

        By the way, it's been reported that Bill flies commercial and uses Southwest Airlines a lot. Warren lives a small 3 bedroom house on a nondescript residential street and drives a 5 year old car.

        You seem to imply that wealth is bad and wealthy people are immoral. Well, I don't know that many wealthy people, but I know many not so wealthy... I can say from my experience that the not so wealthy have their full share of immorality.
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          Dec 6 2013: The people of Africa would not be so needy if rich people in our country did not demand cheap diamonds, gold and slaves all of which they steal from Africa! They are slaves in their own country and killed if they refuse to participate. America and other countries are rich because they steal from other countries that do not have the ability to protect themselves. We steal their resources and force them as slaves to mine their own resources and when they stop working like slaves we kill them. If Africans got even a small portion of the resources we steal from them they would live like the Saudi Kings. But they do not! We take it all and give back nothing, nada, zip, zero, nix, zilich! Is that clear enough? They work for nothing or die!

          Then we have the nerve to fly over there and pass out a few care packages and bask in the "glory of philanthropy" while the slaves as we speak are being massacred on the ground for your pleasure. Now go back and enjoy your cappuccino and when you look in the mirror at your gold necklace or down at that beautiful diamond ring, think about how many Africans(men, women and children) were killed for your pleasure.
          No worry, a couple sips and you will forget all about it and feel as right as rain...
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        Dec 7 2013: Well, Keith, I guess everyone who does go to ... say Africa, should just stop going and bringing anything. You make it sound so hypocritical of them. I guess no help would be better then just a little.
        All us rich nations should just continue to exploit all these less fortunate nations. That sure makes me feel better.
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          Dec 7 2013: Mike I know you are a reasonable guy, if you really want to help them or us... Just take 90% of their resources and give them back 10% that sounds reasonable to me. Put it in their bank and issue each adult a debit card that only works on face recognition. Every week the 10% of resources withdrawn from the country is deposited plus the interest on the account and divided by the number of adults and that amount it transferred to each adults account. They do it in Alaska with Oil profits. It should be done all over America, right now it goes into the state fund and we all know what they do with it.
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          Dec 8 2013: That is just transferring fraud.
        • Dec 15 2013: Sorry to inform you both Mike and Keith, that the so called philanthropy in Africa, is nothing short of a joke. As one who HAS lived there, I can tell you the crimes that are committed again the peoples of various nations (you know Africa is not a country but a continent) is nothing short sometimes of geocide. Shell Oil alone has cause so much damage, if it had been done anywhere but in Africa there would have been an outcry. Heavy metals (for your iphone) are mined daily with no protective equipment, the only equipment used is an ak-47 to force people down the mines. Gates sterilization plan for Africa is an abomination, that would never see the light of day in any other continent. Look up Gates polio vaccines for india, where the version used was know to cause deformities. That version of the vaccine is not used in the us or anywhere else. There is NO philanthropy here.

          Just that people have short memories and can be sold any pile of shit, as long as it's packaged well, and he has top people doing that.

          http://nsnbc.me/2013/05/08/bill-gates-polio-vaccine-program-caused-47500-cases-of-paralysis-death/

          http://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptian-hercules/bill-gates-africa-and-population-control/

          Many vaccines, especially multi-dose vaccines that are made more cheaply for sale to the Third World, contain something called Thimerosal (Thiomersol in the EU), a compound (sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate), containing some 50% mercury, used as a preservative.

          In July 1999 the US’ National Vaccine Information Center declared in a press release that, “The cumulative effects of ingesting mercury can cause brain damage.” The same month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted the public about the possible health effects associated with thimerosal-containing vaccines.


          If that's philanthropy, you can keep it.
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        Dec 7 2013: Keith,
        How can you take 90% of anything from anybody?
        That violates every principal of civilization from the Laws of Moses, to Hammurabi's Code to English Common Law to the US Constitution. And I can't even begin to list the Asian Civilizations that would be offended.

        You would just take something because you believe they don't deserve it or need it or want it?

        Do you even begin to understand what you are saying?

        Are you just being provocative or do you really believe that?
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          Dec 7 2013: Right now we are taking 100% and then killing them. Is that what you call civil or fair? I am saying give them just 10% and leave them alone. Mine you own damn diamonds and gold or offer them a descent wage with benefits to attract them to work. If they are happy with the 10% and do not want to work, tough, get your slaves somewhere else (I hear their are a lot of slaves in Britain & America, out of work, hire them).
    • Dec 5 2013: You ask a vital question here: are the opportunities for gaining wealth available for all? Especially the question of education. Children born in to a poor family will probably get some education, so long as they're family is not so deep in poverty they need all family members to be working to stay above water. But one of the problems is that more and more employers are requiring a college degree for a person to get a job. For those in poverty, even if they can manage to make it through high school, will likely not have money to go to college. This can perpetuate the cycle of poverty for generations.
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        Dec 5 2013: Alex,
        I can't buy the "I am poor and so I am stuck in poverty because no college, no job" story.
        You see, i came from a poor family and couldn't afford college. I am the son of an immigrant family and I'll match anyone's poorness and raise you.... But, I got an undergraduate degree... it took me 27 years, but I got it done. I almost got my master's degree... class work done but didn't finish the thesis. Long story...
        So... anyway... I got jobs and was employed. "In the if I can do it you can do it" rule, there is no reason for someone not to get a college education. It was hard, I'll admit. but it can be done.
    • Dec 6 2013: Wealth is redistributed with guns. If wealth redistribution is your goal, you will ultimately always have to resort to violence.
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        Dec 6 2013: Money is distributed with guns... I consider myself one of the wealthiest people alive and my income is below the poverty line.
      • thumb
        Dec 8 2013: No we do not. We just need honest government that IS NOT GIVING FAVORS TO ANYONE.
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    Dec 5 2013: Well it is a lot simpler than you might think. Stop giving all your money to the rich. That's how they got it in the first place.
    There is a small book "The Richest Man in Babylon" which explains how to build wealth. (a must have for anyone interested in becoming wealthy)

    Listen to the audio book for free on Youtube here:
    http://youtu.be/kg0j3CK6Gh4
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      Dec 5 2013: We need a national discussion about what a maximum wage/income should be along with conversation about minimum wage/income. What if no one could earn more than 100K or be taxed at a rate of 150%? What if no one could earn less than 40K? What if the golden rule was applied to economics?

      One result is that the negative impacts of over consumption in all areas would be moderated with many benefits including a reduction of all the factors that impact global warming. Certainly the rich add far more carbon and other impacts than the poor. Recently I heard an average American contributes 22 tons of carbon per year while much of the rest of the world per capita carbon is about 2 tons.

      The earth can no longer afford the rich and poverty is the worse form of violence so here's a solution that addresses both... Who's 'on board'?
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        Dec 5 2013: Craig I believe everywhere education is being applied, things are improving. I also believe the root cause of violence started at the exact moment we started cooking the nutrients out of food. In other words a long long time ago. The problem is the fuel (food) most of us eat today is low octane and most of it actually poisons us, so the body and brains natural reaction is to filter out those poisons. However over an extended period of time of not just worthless food but actual poisonous food we start to break down both body and brain. When the brain starts breaking down it reacts with violence just like any engine does that is not getting the proper fuel. I also believe if our body and brain were healthy we could fix the other problems.
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          Dec 5 2013: Keith,

          I don't think you understood a word I wrote. Certainly your comments doesn't address anything I said. Perhaps you really wanted to start a new thread?
      • Dec 5 2013: Craig, i really like the ideas you put forward here. I dont know how far down this thread you you read but i said that i wanted to compile multiple statements into a letter that i and anyone else on this thread could send to senators and congressmen in their home state. If its okay with you, id like to use your post in this letter. All i would need from you is the state you live in, i had planned on putting first name and state of residence of person who wrote comment. Please let me know if this is okay with you, and thanks for some new ideas.
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          Dec 5 2013: Sure Alex - I'm in Oregon

          I'm not exactly serious about the income ranges I stated, but I thought that since it's so out of control (meaning highest paid is too many factors above lowest paid) that I would use a similar level of absurdity in my example.
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        Dec 7 2013: "What if no one could earn more than 100K or be taxed at a rate of 150%? What if no one could earn less than 40K?"
        Craig I prefer to stay in the realm of possible (baby steps)
        What you are proposing seems a little radical to me aside from the fact that the people it would affect control the laws and enforcement. What do you think will happen to the value of a dollar after this idea is enacted? And after the dollar is more worthless than it is now, what happens to all those dollars you saved all your life for including your retirement? And now that your retirement is only worth 1/5 of what is was before.. how are you going to pay the rent?
        I hope you have a wheel barrow because you will have to fill it just to get a loaf of bread.
        You may want to think this through to it's conclusion before you jump off this cliff.
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          Dec 7 2013: Keith,
          Frankly I'm far more concerned with what we are collectively leaving our kids than how any of this will affect us older generation. We collectively have used up the vast majority of the earths resources in 3 generations. To not see the inter-generational suicide that we are passing to them is beyond selfish. Even the Pope sees it now and has spoken up. There is a huge crash or adjustment coming and I prefer to see if we can do it with consciousness and compassion for our kids.
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        Dec 7 2013: Well Craig as you probably know I am addressing that problem by making the solution real simple to understand but even harder to implement. "If you break it, you fix it"
        That is as simple as it gets and it seems so reasonable except mankind is not reasonable. We all do bad things and then act like the three monkeys with hands on our eyes, ears and mouth.
      • Dec 8 2013: I made this statement in question a couple days ago but wanted to let people know the plan:
        Ive got three good stories to include in my letter thus far. Theres ten days left before this conversation gets closed. I'd like to get two or three more statements before i write up this letter to be sent to senators/congressman. I probably wont write the letter until I go on christmas break. Please, anyone who may be interested in receiving a copy of this letter to send to their own senators and congressman should send me an email. My email address is meseckaj20@uww.edu
    • Dec 6 2013: That's about the best way I've ever seen it put--stop giving your money to the rich. Will take creativity to do, of course.
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        Dec 6 2013: As Einstein said "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler"

        We complain about the laws and then vote for more lawyers.
        We complain about no jobs and then shop at Walmart.
        We look for life on desolate Mars and destroy it here on this beautiful Earth.
        We complain about pollution and then go to work polluting all the way there, all during working hours and then all the way back home.
        We complain about our freedoms being taken away and do nothing to keep them.
        We complain about violence in the world and then teach it in our schools.
        We don't understand why America is hated when America rapes and pillages every weak country on earth with our corporations.

        Thinking like we do, It's a damn miracle we have lasted this long
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    Dec 5 2013: Suppose that every day, 10 men go out to their
    favorite haunt for beer, and the bill for all 10 comes to
    $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it
    would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing
    The fifth would pay $1
    The sixth would pay $3
    The seventh would pay $7
    The eighth would pay $12
    The ninth would pay $18
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59

    So that’s what these men decided to do. Every day,
    they shared a beer at the bar and seemed quite happy
    with their payment arrangement. And then one day,
    the owner threw them a curve.

    “Since you’re all such good customers,” he said. “I’m
    going to reduce the cost of your daily consumption of
    beer by $20.”

    So from then on, the drinks for the 10 men would now
    cost just $80 instead of the normal $100. What a deal!

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay
    our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They
    would still drink for free. But what about the other six
    men? The paying customers? How could they divide
    the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair
    share?”

    They realized that $20 divided by six was $3.33. But if
    they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the
    fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being
    “paid” to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested
    that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by
    roughly the same percentage, and he proceeded to
    work out the amounts each should pay. Here’s how it
    went:

    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing
    (100% savings)
    The sixth man now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%
    savings)
    The seventh man now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%
    savings)
    • Dec 5 2013: Cute story. But heres the part you forgot to mention:
      The first four men who pay $0 work two jobs, both for minimum wage. On the other end, the man who pays $59 works one job for limited hours with no physical or dangerous or demeaning labor and gets paid several thousand dollars a day.
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        Dec 6 2013: "The first four men who pay $0 work two jobs, both for minimum wage."

        And you forgot to mention that government transfers don't show up as income or the fact that people move out of the lowest quintile than any other group or the fact that the second fastest vacating quintile is the upper quintile, you see it is hard to stay at the top or the bottom. The myth with your thinking is that a quintile or group represents real people it is just a category real people change quintiles often.

        The OWS gang doesn't understand the finer points of economics, you will not find a harder worker group of people than the Koch brother types the reason is that to make a lot of money you have to produce at a high volume which invariably requires hard work, since this also requires working with the edge of the envelope of technology failure is very common. Yup that upper quintile gets vacated as often as the lowest quintile except in the opposite direction. What OWS gang also fails to realize that the reason that they make a bunch of stuff is that a bunch of people want what they make because it betters their life.

        The reason that your blather exists at all is because some politicians sells everyone on how he can solve this made up problem. The OWS gang thinks they are rebels and very smart when in reality they are ignorant and being played by the politicians.

        What the OWS gang also fails to realize is that there is a difference between the ones they are protesting and the ones that don't do anything laudable but would not exist if not for the government this is the TBTF banks, ADM, GM, etc You see it is quite difficult to remain at the top unless you get the government to take care of you. BTW the 2 times in history with the most inequality is now and in the early 30s, both times created by government intervention.
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    Dec 5 2013: The eighth man now paid $9 instead of $12 (25%
    savings)
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings)
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings)

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first
    four continued to drink for free. But once they got
    outside the restaurant, the men began to compare
    their savings.

    “Hold on, I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared
    the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man. “But he
    got $10!”

    “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man, also
    pointing at the tenth man. “I only saved a dollar too. If
    you ask me, it’s unfair that he got ten times more than
    I did!”

    “That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should
    he get $10 back when I only got two? The wealthy get
    all the breaks!”

    “Wait a minute!” yelled the first four men in unison.
    “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the
    poor!”

    The nine men surrounded the tenth guy and
    proceeded to beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for
    drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without
    him. But when the bartender brought them their bill,
    they discovered something important. They realized
    that they didn’t have enough money among all of
    them for even half of the bill!

    That’s how it works, whether it’s our tax system or the
    organizational chart of a corporation. The people who
    pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax
    reduction. The people who have risen the highest in
    an organization have more responsibility, have more
    authority, and get paid more. And they usually take the
    biggest hit when things go bad.

    I usually end this story by saying, “For those of you
    who understand, no further explanation is needed. For
    those of you who don’t, no explanation is possible.”
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    Dec 4 2013: HOW CAN WE LESSEN THE DISPARITY BETWEEN THE RICH AND POO IN AMERICA?

    Get off your butts and earn it.

    Read what happened in Argentina when this occurred .. first they took the money from the rich, and then, from the middle class and then there was none for anyone. Time to wake up and stop drinking the socialist/communist/Marx/Obama Koolade. This distaracts you from the real problems that we are having. But then again the blame game has worked for the last six years.

    If this is such a great idea why have all the democratic millionaire members of not given up their wealth .... why has Obama the main preacher of this idea not surrendered his millions ... and yet he talked you in to the idea ...

    Maybe you should also look at what percentage of the federal income comes from the rich ...

    This system worked so well in Cuba, Russia, etc ... What happy party places those are ...

    Do the research and then ask the question one more time .....
    • Dec 5 2013: I am not drinking from the "Obama Koolade", this is something that i have long believed has been a problem threatening to undermine the country. And im not working for obama, Im just a college student who grew a conscience before you did. And honstely, I'm getting really fed up with this idea that all poor people are just lazy and need to work harder and somehow this will solve the problem. Ill admit this is true for some poor people, but a lot of them work hard, sometimes working two or three jobs to support a family. The cycle of poverty holds them back from making big advances in society. Im not proposing to follow in Chinas footsteps, but the underprivaledged deserve the rights of the upperclass. Afterall, aren't we all granted theright to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. Well, the poor dont get that right. They live a subpar life, working to fight for the liberty they were never given, and hoping one day to come to a point in the future when they can worry about happiness rather than just worrying about surviving. I get the feeling that your pretty well off and have never been around people who face this issue. But its time time to come to grips wth the reality that others are suffering and they deserve better.
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        Dec 6 2013: Alex, You jump to so many conclusions that we should make this an Olympic event and star you. I do not see that we taken away any ones rights to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. Please show me the clause that says that any one has had these rights taken away. I was raised in an orphanage and graduated high school and was sent into the world with two changes of clothes. I did the only thing I could for survival .. joined the military. I took all of the courses I could in the service and retired. I finished school working three jobs. I was hired as a engineer at General Dynamics ... retired. I worked for the state of Arizona .. retired. I am a certified law enforcement officer ... and I could go on but it would not impress you. Conscience ... you haven't got a clue. Come to grips with reality ... I have done that on the battle field and on the streets.

        You get fed up all you want ... I fought for your right to get fed up ... I protect your rights on the streets.

        I was born in the slums and now own a house. My parents and sisters cannot read or write ... I have a college education ... I help them and my whole family. You just keep on jumping conclusions and making judgement about things you know nothing about to people who lived them.

        I have been there ... done that ... own the T-shirt ... and earned the right to say "Get off your butts and earn it". I did.

        Alex, I am not mad at you just very disappointed that you are buying into the argument with so little experience ... I urge you to keep a open mind. After you graduate you will see that text books and lectures are not the total sum of any argument. Don't lose your passion ... just be willing to grow and learn. Did you read about Argentina circa 1916 and the parallel to the USA? It may interest you.

        In spite of our differences I still will always wish you well. Bob.
        • Dec 6 2013: Thank your for your service to this country, and thank you for your kind words. Its nice to have a civilized discussion rather than the usual brutal debate.
  • Dec 4 2013: Its been a while since ive heard from people. I still intend on creating that letter to send to senators and congressmen/women but i need more stories like that of Amy. Please help compile stories to put in this letter to the people who can make things change,
  • Nov 25 2013: Obamacare is redistribution. It pits the middleclass, rich and young against the old, poor and sick; it also pits men against women. This is social engineering that is doomed to fail. Insurance company stocks are increasing at a greater rate than the rest of the stock market for a good reason: They have a direct pipeline to the US Treasury trough subsidies and the "risk corridor" where, if the insurance companies get too many people in the insurance companies the treasury will cover their losses.

    Men get to subsidize maternity leave and things like birth control and other "female-related" routine testing.

    As long as Wall Street controls Congress there wil continue to be the extraction of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street--- and further "pooring" of America.

    My contribution to the discussion, "He who writes the rules wins". It's as simple as that; the rich write the rules.
  • Nov 24 2013: Thanks for writing again Amy, would it be okay for me to take a quote from your post to include in this new letter I plan on writing. It would just include your fist name and the location you live after the quote. If this is okay with you, could i also get the city and state you live in for the letter. (The post I'm talking about is your most recent one).
  • Nov 23 2013: I would suggest using the freedom afforded every US citizen by our forefathers and the solders that gave their lives so that we can work hard at becoming the best we can be. Free to grow within the religious construct of our choice without persecution. All that is asked of us is to be responsible citizens who respect other people’s freedoms and do not support any initiative or group that would work to reduce or eliminate those freedoms.

    Note to the have not’s - Work for what you want, don't look for ways to take it from others who have worked for it.

    Note to the haves - Be generous to those that helped you get to where you are and to those who are truly incapable of helping themselves.

    Are there any other world issues you would like a solution for? :)
    • Nov 24 2013: Thanks for your thoughts Anthony, but that doesn't really solve the problem. Its true that some"have nots" just dont work hard, but some work very hard just to keep their heads above water. The issue still remains that some people just happen to be born in to a poor family and struggle all their lives, while others just happen to be born into wealth. The "freedom afforded everyUS citizen" simply is not granted to every american. The poor have little freedom in this country, they work hard to sustain life. I like some of the ideals you put forth here but what we're looking for is a way to achieve these ideals.
  • Nov 23 2013: Hi Again Alex, People have a serious problem, particularly in this country, where they believe that "stuff" is wealth, when in fact, all of your stuff could be your worst problem. For anyone who has ever seen the show hoarders, you cannot deny that all of the purchases that these people have made did not make them happy or cure whatever issues that they were going through. There is a saying that you don't cure money problems with money - and to a certain extent this is true. For example, if you spread the wealth evenly for those who have nothing, (the homeless unemployed and dead broke) - just throwing out a number here - and everybody gets $500,000 check to "even things out.". If I take my check and purchase a $125,000 home (plenty big enough my husband and myself), then furnish it and prepay the taxes for a year - now we're at about $150,000. I could then go out and carefully choose a reliable used vehicle and have it checked out by a mechanic and prepay the insurance for a year. Now I'm at $175,000. I could then invest $5,000 into some classes in order to prepare myself to apply for a job that would start putting the money back in so that the numbers start going in to plus direction. Now, I have a home, a vehicle some useful knowledge, and insurance to protect it - Sounds like a wonderful plan to me. However, the plan has a flaw- and that flaw would be the people that took their $500,000, rented a penthouse at $12,000 per month and then took a two month trip over seas for a hundred grand to see the pretty sights of Paris, then returned home and purchased a Ferrari, but saved money by skipping a call to insure it. A week later they wrap the car around a telephone pole and now they have two months rent in the bank, and no plan after that. What do we do, give him another $500,000. I truly think the poor need help. However, when people make bad choices and are careless, should we cover them, or just help the good and honest guys, and who decides which is which.
    • Dec 6 2013: Thanks for writing again Amy, would it be okay for me to take a quote from your post to include in this new letter I plan on writing. It would just include your fist name and the location you live after the quote. If this is okay with you, could i also get the city and state you live in for the letter. (The post I'm talking about is your most recent one).
      • Dec 7 2013: Alex, Sure, if it will help you get a point across, buy all means you have my okay. I live in Lindenwold, NJ.
  • Nov 23 2013: Ive been havimg some trouble coming up with a plan but Amy's post convinced we need to start doing something. I think the way to try to make change is going through the government. I am considering writting a letter that i and anyone else who is willing could send to their congress members and senators of their own state.

    I'm a fairly good writter but i will need help. I will need help getting stories like the one Amy has shared here. There are some powerful statements she made here, like "The workers pay for the takers and the rich. We are stuck in this position and will never get ahead or be able to prepare for our senior years as our income is 2,000 per year above the cut off level to qualify for any assistance whatsoever. "

    I need help getting real, convincing stories including powerful statements like this. A compilation of these stories can help show the government what real Americans face every day. So please give me your stories, i would like to get many stories to use pieces of in this letter. Please let others know to share, even if you transcribe someones story onto here. Also, I'd like first names and city the live so when i finally compose thw letter it has more ligitimacy to it.

    This may nt be the final step, but its a place to start, a place to start making a difference. Thank you to who have already shared and those i hope will share in the future.
  • Nov 21 2013: Thanks Fritzie
  • Nov 21 2013: This is not about you, Maloney. This is about people who have little or nothing, who are living on the streets. Ya, if your "own standard of living is sufficiently comfortable" that's nice for you. But as you don't seem to understand some people don't have it as good as you.
    I'm all for your plan of increasing income of everyone in the US, but that's just not ever going to happen. Even if you could do that, a lot of people will still have.nothing, 0 X 500 = 0 . The rich are not my concern, my concern is the poor.
    It's almost like you don't understand what disparity is. There is a huge difference between the richest people and the poorest peoplein this country. If we gave just some small tax breaks to the poor and stopped giving the rich so many, the poor would finally have a chance for a much improved life.
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      Nov 21 2013: Alex, if you want someone to whom you are responding to see your response and get the alert in his/her mailbox, you should use the reply button off to the right of their names rather than posting at the top of your thread. When you post at the top of your own thread, only you get an alert.
  • Nov 18 2013: Why does such "disparity" matter? I wouldn't care if the richest were 1000, 100000, 100000000, or 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 times richer than I am if my own standard of living is sufficiently comfortable. I am far more concerned with "bringing up the middle" and "bringing up the bottom" in terms of "improvement over subsistence" than silly, childish, envy-based non-problems like "disparity". If increasing the lowest income rung in the USA (in real-terms, that's after adjusting for inflation, consumer bundle size, etc.) to 500 times subsistence (which is pretty darn comfortable--more comfortable than I currently live) means that the richest X% get their income increased 500 times again more, how does that hurt me? How does it hurt me that someone else is richer than I am so long as I am comfortable? The problem is not "disparity". The problems are poverty and loss of standard of living.

    But you can't make political hay off of that. Instead, it's much easier to encourage people to hate each other. So sponsor envy and jealousy. Make it all about "disparity".
    • Nov 21 2013: 13 hours ago: This is not about you. This is about people who have little or nothing, who are living on the streets. Ya, if your "own standard of living is sufficiently comfortable" that's nice for you. But as you don't seem to understand some people don't have it as good as you.
      I'm all for your plan of increasing income of everyone in the US, but that's just not ever going to happen. Even if you could do that, a lot of people will still have.nothing, 0 X 500 = 0 . The rich are not my concern, my concern is the poor.
      It's almost like you don't understand what disparity is. There is a huge difference between the richest people and the poorest peoplein this country. If we gave just some small tax breaks to the poor and stopped giving the rich so many, the poor would finally have a chance for a much improved life.
      • Dec 6 2013: So bring up THEIR standard of living. Stop wallowing in the shared pigsty of the capitalists and the marxists. The difference between poor and rich means NOTHING if the poor are not poor. If the poorest people are comfortable, who is so stupid as to worry that the richest might make a whole bunch more money? Of course, questioning the religious dogma of the class warriors would mean that the class warriors won't be able to work their scams on everyone, and that's what really keeps the "disparity" wagon rolling. Forget "disparity", work on "prosperity" but direct it to the poor. Don't give a damn about the rich, anymore. If they get richer, it means nothing, so long as the poor stop being poor.

        Oops, I'm indulging in religious heresy. Must burn me at the stake, now.